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Aug 1, 2012
Few professional athletes can deny the glamour or prestige of championship tournament rings. The weight of these glinting pieces stands for every ounce of teamwork that went into the team's victory, and the rings often become heirlooms. Nick DeVito and Company, in Sarasota, FL, has made it part of its mission to bring that feeling of team pride to sports fans as well. The company's array of crystal-encrusted pendants, earrings and bracelets puts a fresh sparkle in any sports fan's eyes. "I started in 1985 in the gold business and we had three or four wholesalers in the first few months," says Nick DeVito, president. "When the market changed and people made all their money buying gold off the street, we switched over to silver and crystals. We started doing a nautical line and a good friend wanted a collegiate line. We decided to give it a shot and the collegiate colors really took off."
Family owned and operated since its launch, Nick DeVito and Company is run by Nick DeVito and Dini DeVito Russell. "My daughter, Dini, is vice president and she runs the business," DeVito explains. Together, the duo runs a company dedicated to international wholesale jewelry distribution, with a specialty in 14K gold fine jewelry, nautical contemporary and sterling silver jewelry. They visit numerous trade and jewelry shows annually. In the past year, the company gained 30 representatives located all over the country, but DeVito says they still take their business personally. "Every customer offers another opportunity to establish a significant relationship," he notes. "We operate as a family and treat our customers as family as well."
This care and consideration for customers and retailers resulted in a widespread boom in business. From the company's launch until now, Nick DeVito and Company has come to reach more than 500 brick and mortar retailers. Barely touched by the ups and downs the economy has sustained since 1985, DeVito adheres to his business ethics and the company continues to grow as a result. "There are the more obvious things, like controlling the overhead and not overextending, that really help you succeed," he explains. "Using the Internet has helped, and advertising in magazines like Web Wholesaler has helped quite a bit, boosting sales 40 to 50 percent, I'd wager. We cover boutiques and jewelry stores, which covers both sides of the game. Other than that, the whole game is relationships."
DeVito, 72, says he has been in the industry a long time and recalls a moment early in his career when a former employer told him that if he had a relationship with a customer, that customer was going to buy from him. "I've found that to be absolutely true," he stresses. Internet and magazine advertising has helped initiate, build and maintain those relationships. The company website boasts testimonials which attest to the sales potential for team themed jewelry, as well as the ease of doing business with DeVito and Russell. "My business was a little slow last year," states an endorsement from Darrel in Maryville, TN. "I came across Nick DeVito's ad in a magazine which showcased team colored football jewelry. Since I live in Tennessee, the football jewelry would sell like crazy, I called Nick and he got my store set up. It's by far my best seller."
The sporty pieces work well in any location with loyal fans, whether the dream team is a little league or a major NFL contender. Beyond the athletic arena, however, Nick DeVito and Company's other styles work well in tourist destinations. A retailer in Ocean City, NJ noted the popularity of nautical baubles in his store. "I met Nick DeVito at the Atlanta Jewelry Show, purchased their crystal nautical jewelry, and before I knew it I was reordering larger quantities," Fred says in his testimonial. "I have been doing business with them for two years. I can tell you from experience that they are a great family to work with."
When the company made the strategic play in 2010 to introduce the Team Crystals Collection, it was more than an update. It was a new vehicle by which to reach customers and retailers alike. In addition, the company carries a polka dot collection, an array of unisex bracelets and 14K gold designs. DeVito observed that the gold business is picking up and says his stock will reflect the demand for this merchandise.
"We contract manufacturers and carry more than 500 SKU numbers of 14K gold," he notes. "In silver, we have another 400 to 500 SKU numbers in stock. We'll keep doing what we're doing and get more representatives as we continue to grow. I want to be in more markets, especially in the Dallas area." Critical to any expanding company is having merchandise in stock. "We stock everything," he points out. "We can ship more than 95 percent of our supplies instantly. It costs us money, but it's better for business. You have to stock, you have to give service, and that's what we do." There is no limit to the growth potential of a company that utilizes the full potential of online wholesaling and advertising, and Nick DeVito and Company is a testament to the power of tapping one's resources.
Topic: Company Profiles
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